Talent in Epsom Oaks

| June 2, 2013
Jockey Richard Hughes rides Talent to victory in The Oaks at the Epsom Derby Festival.

Jockey Richard Hughes rides Talent to victory in The Oaks at the Epsom Derby Festival.

Talent gave jockey Richard Hughes his second English classic win of the season as she produced a stunning burst of speed to win the Epsom Oaks on yesterday.

Hughes — 40 and who had not ridden an English classic winner until Sky Lantern won the 1000 Guineas earlier this month — guided the 20/1 Ralph Beckett-trained outsider ahead of better fancied stablemate Secret Gesture (3/1).

Secret Gesture, which Qatari Sheikh Fahad al Thani bought half of earlier in the week, edged out 16/1 chance The Lark, while Irish champion trainer Aidan O’Brien’s favourite Moth was fourth.

Talent, whose sire (father) New Approach has the favourite in Saturday’s Epsom Derby in Dawn Approach, was Beckett’s second win in the race, having won with 33/1 outsider Look Here in 2008.

Moth and Secret Gesture looked to have the race between them entering the final two furlongs but the former found nothing when jockey Joseph O’Brien asked for an extra effort.

Jim Crowley, however, looked to have the race won until Hughes brought Talent from third last to first in seconds and she eventually prevailed by a comfortable 3 and 3/4 lengths.

Oaks day also saw the return of star jockey Frankie Dettori after he served a ban for taking cocaine, but if the crowd were hoping for a fairytale they were to be disappointed as the Italian finished last on the two rides he had prior to the Oaks.

“I’m afraid a little bit for the future but I’m positive, have a good clear head and am looking forward to the challenge,” tweeted the 42-year-old, who did not have a ride in the Oaks.


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